A CAMPAIGN group is fighting plans against a 2,100-acre solar farm in north Buckinghamshire.

If approved, the development in Botolph Claydon between Aylesbury and Buckingham, is estimated to power 57,000 homes and save 125,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The site is more than 2,000 acres in size. The farm is classed as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) and therefore needs a type of planning consent called a Development Consent Order (DCO) to build and operate it.

Residents in The Claydons have until Friday, November 10, 2023 to give their feedback on the consultation. A campaign group called Claydon Solar Action Group has also formed to try and block the plans.

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Campaigners say if it is approved it will also result in the loss of farmland and wildlife, with the panels spoiling the view of the countryside.

Bucks Free Press: Greg Smith MP chairs a meeting in Botolph Claydon

MP for Buckingham Greg Smith has shown his support for the campaign group and said: "Everyone is overwhelmingly against this intrusion and loss of farmland.

"I challenged the representatives of Rosefield to think again about this development - not least the moral case of not punishing communities already under siege from construction projects like HS2, East West Rail and potentially if the planning inspector goes against us a mega prison."

The campaign group explained how residents have suffered enough with the HS2 and East West Rail works.

A Spokesperson for Claydons Solar Action Group said "First, Central government dictated infrastructure projects are currently being airdropped into a small 10-mile or so radius and the residents have seemingly zero control or say in any of them.

"First, Hs2- and we all know how that went now - then this.

"We don’t want to have our futures dictated by Whitehall, high net worth individuals and global big businesses.

"We are the community who live here with our families. We should have some control over our existence.

"Next - we argue that the scale is overkill. Solar is needed - there’s no disputing this - but why cover what is arguably the most beautiful view in the area with glass and steel?

"Why encase fields that support birds, butterflies and food production in man made materials? There are plenty of brownfield sites at similar scale, use those.

"Finally, and related, the location is lazily chosen: It is our opinion that rather than a site being carefully selected after an impact assessment, all that has happened here is someone saw a substation with capacity adjacent to a large single landowner.

"In our estimation, Both parties saw a chance to make easy money and are now positioning it as an ‘environmental concern." 

All responses must be received by the consultation deadline of 11:59pm on Friday, November 10, 2023.